Download The Grotesque (Bloom's Literary Themes) by Harold Bloom, Blake Hobby PDF

By Harold Bloom, Blake Hobby

Scholars discover the topic of the ugly because it is gifted in vintage literary works, together with Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. contains acknowledgements and index.

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Example text

And never did a man resist a god with greater hubris. Pentheus staggers out of the house with sword in hand. Catching sight of the “stranger,” he hurls himself at him. He commands that all doors be locked. A shepherd comes running. He reports miracles on the mountain. He has seen an idyll, full of modesty and morality. Pentheus’s unjust suspicions and untruths are given the lie. It occurs to the shepherds to capture Agave, Pentheus’s mother, and bring her into the city in the hope of winning the gratitude of their master.

Dionysus warns Pentheus in vain that he will die if he raises arms against him. But since warnings do not stop Pentheus, it will take other means to overthrow him. Here the mystery part of the play comes to its ending. Dionysus displays his power over Pentheus, the mortal, without even needing a miracle. It is the dark side of Pentheus’s own character that drives him to his fate. Dionysus awakens it by projecting before Pentheus’s eyes a picture that arouses his sexual desires in a wave of perverted lasciviousness.

But Pentheus hisses at his grandfather to keep that wreath away from him. Only respect for the aged and for piety stops him from treating old Cadmus roughly. But the other one, the seer, the seducer—he should be punished. Immediately he orders demolition of the temple of the seer and a police raid on the stranger who has driven the women mad. Death by stoning is the final penalty he commands. A motive emerges in this scene that will be of decisive significance for the further development of the plot.

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